Thursday, May 12, 2011
The Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Health Care (HEALTH) Act, H.R. 5, discussed here last week, has been approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, here. The bill contains the core AMA/MICRA wish-list (on which see the RAND study here); noneconomic caps, contingency fee controls, collateral source abrogation, punitive damages standard and cap, several liability, and periodic payments.
Probably the most interesting feature of the bill is Section 11, the partial preemption provision (Congress clearly hasn't learned much from HIPPA's "more stringent…" language). The statute is broadly preemptive of state laws unless those laws are more favorable to providers. There is a partial exception for caps which states may set lower or higher than the federal ceiling.